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Some extracts from Pope Francis’ 11,000 word interview September 23, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, secularism, the return.
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11,000 words is about 22 pages. That’s a pretty lengthy interview. I post some excerpts culled from various sources. I am not trying to achieve a “balanced’ reportage here, because I don’t see a need to rhetorically pat the Pope on the head for being orthodox.  That’s like my calling General Motors and congratulating them every morning my truck starts.  In brief, it is expected.

I received an e-mail from a concerned friend off-line, asking if the media were twisting the Pope’s words.  I will provide the words below without any commentary.  Note that the Pope himself approved the Italian wording of the interview.  One may try to argue that the English translation has faults, but I haven’t seen any great concern over that, yet.  The quotes:

“If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life.” [Ummm…..that last bit…….I’m biting my tongue, because it is so imprecise and progressive-friendly]

“Thinking with the church, therefore, is my way of being a part of this people. And all the faithful, considered as a whole, are infallible in matters of belief, and the people display this infallibilitas in credendo, this infallibility in believing, through a supernatural sense of the faith of all the people walking together. This is what I understand today as the ‘thinking with the church’ of which St. Ignatius speaks.” [I lied, I will comment, just to explain.  The Pope is referring to the sensus fidelium, the sense of faith of the faithful.  Get that – the faithful, as in truly, well-formed faithful. This does not include Nancy Pelosi, Leonardo Boff, or any other number of heretics.  As the Pope Emeritus said, the sensus fidelium is not a public opinion poll, it is required that this sense of faith be formed according to the Magisterium of the Church.  You cannot validly, morally form your faith in opposition to the belief and practice of the Faith.]

“Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible.”

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’” [I lied again, but here we are, back to false dichotomy.]

“The young Catholic churches, as they grow, develop a synthesis of faith, culture and life, and so it is a synthesis different from the one developed by the ancient churches”

“The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,” he lamented. “The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible,” he said. “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

“When does a formulation of thought cease to be valid? When it loses sight of the human or even when it is afraid of the human or deluded about itself … The thinking of the church must recover genius and better understand how human beings understand themselves today, in order to develop and deepen the church’s teaching.” [it is difficult not seeing in this the conception that doctrine or even Dogma ceases to be valid with the passage of time.]

So, those are just some quotes.  For some analyses of the Pope’s long interview, the first in-depth look at his thoughts since he became Pope, you can check out this post by Bishop Rene Gracida on Louis Verrecchio’s 10 point examination of Francis (that one is really a must read.  But I warn you, it is highly disquieting).  Or you can read Fr. Peter Carota’s thoughts here.  Or more regarding what Bishop Robert Vasa had to say, here.  And here is Patrick Archbold trying, like me, to contain exasperation, retain a philosophical outlook, and hope for the best here.

So, decide for yourself. We may see some walking back from this interview on specific issues like abortion, but overall, I think the direction this Pope feels comfortable with is very clear, and it is very different from the previous two pontificates.  I think a lot of people are going to owe Rorate Caeli an apology before too long.

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The glory of Christ’s Holy Priesthood September 23, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Again from Fr. Nicholas Gihr’s The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Dogmatically, Liturgically, and Ascetically Explained, an excerpt on the glory of the priesthood and the life of self-denying service that life’s faithful execution requires (p. 290):

This service of the Lord, this busy life spent in the care of souls, is a yoke and a burden: a -burden which would be terrible for the shoulders of angels even, a burden from which the very saints fled in dread and terror. The faithful performance of the pastoral office,Green_Rifan_chalice the preaching of the word of God, the celebration and dispensation of the mysteries of salvation, the preservation of discipline and good morals in congregations, the training and direction of the faithful, especially of youth, in the way of salvation, the care of the poor and sick, the preventing or suppression of scandals and dangers from the flock entrusted to one’s care costs much labor and hardship, many sufferings and combats, many exertions and sacrifices (jugum Domini). The yoke, that is, the office of bishop and of priest, is heavier than the ministry of the deacon……..

But the sacerdotal vocation, with all the labors and responsibilities attaching to the life of a priest, is lightened and sweetened by the mighty grace of the Lord   (jugum ejus est suave et onus ejus leve; potens enim est Deus, ut augeat tibi gratiam suam). Whom the Lord chooses as His servant, him He helps to carry the burden; for a precious, a full, an over- flowing measure of heavenly grace and consolation, the great and lowmasscountless graces of his calling, the Lord has in reserve for the priest. He that has a vocation, delights in and loves the duties of his ministry; therefore, it is not an oppressive weight for him, but a light and sweet burden, which he joyfully carries, though it may require on his part much bodily exertion and many spiritual combats[Especially, in this day and age, the latter, I think]  From the bottom of his heart he prays with the Psalmist: “Better, O Lord, is one day in Thy courts above thousands” in the world; “rather would I” be “an abject” unknown and forgotten in the world, than amid abundance and honors “dwell in the tabernacles of sinners.” The sufferings of the priest are great, but equally great, yea, far greater, are his joys. For as the good priest “abounds in the sufferings of Christ, so also through Christ does his comfort abound.” “I am filled with comfort; I exceedingly abound in all my tribulation,” he says with the Apostle of the Gentiles. The service of Christ and of His Church is not only the greatest joy, but also the highest honor and distinction for the priest. The service of the altar is the most sublime office, it is the summit and crown of all dignities upon earth.

————End Quote———-

The point of this post is simple: pray for your priests!  Good, bad, or indifferent, pray for your priests!  Satan attacks priests (and bishops) more than anyone else, for that father of lies knows that if he can bring one priest or bishop down, thousands or tens of thousands more will follow.  As St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori said “one bad book can ruin a whole monastery,” well, one bad priest can ruin a parish, and one bad bishop could even ruin an entire region, if not a country.  No matter what  you think of your current clergy, pray for them like it’s absolutely vital to  your salvation, because it is!  Pray for them out of charity for the man and the office!  Pray for them for the benefit of other souls!  Pray for them because Christ loves His priests so much, He gives them torrents of vital Grace. Prayer for your priest(s) and bishops should always be one of your very highest prayer priorities!  Prayer is an enormous spiritual work of mercy that will redound to your credit in the eyes of Christ!

Francis Borgia_At the Deathbed of an Impenitent_Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de.jpg

Those rotten triumphalist judgmental traddy types…… September 23, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Papa, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return.
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I saw a beautiful thing this weekend.  I saw an adult woman be baptized, receive her first sacramental Confession, be confirmed, and then the next day receive Our Blessed Lord for the first time in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Actually, I missed the confirmation portion as we had to leave, but I was there in spirit.  What a great grace to be a part of all this!  And I lamented that my own confirmation in the Church and first valid reception of the Blessed Sacrament was not something I cherished more at the time!  Youth may be vigorous, but it is not wise.

The women who experienced these great Mysteries of our Faith came to our local parish perhaps 2 months ago.  She was very lost.  She had tried all the world had to offer, all the culture told her would make her happy, powerful, fulfilled, etc., and it just left her broken and miserable as these lies invariably do. She had been trying various churches and denominations and none had clicked.  In fact, she had been, in some ways, “rejected” by some churches because of her checkered past.  She had been made to feel unwelcome at some of these places, because of her history.

From what we are told by even our “friendly” Catholic media, a Traditional Latin Mass parish is the absolute last place she could have expected to find acceptance and forgiveness.  But she did. On even her first visit, when she was so visibly lost, a number of souls approached her and reached out to her, making her feel welcome.  The woman was unsure……she had led a life that was, from the standpoint of sin and morality, very problematic.  She had been rejected by churchy types before.  Would these ultra-orthodox types not just judge her to death, and actually accept her?

Well, one of the first things this young woman found out was that all of us are sinners, and some of us have been very, very bad sinners. In fact, some of us most attracted to the TLM are so attracted because it speaks of the sin we know so well, and the great mercy of God we so desperately need.  I believe the young lady found that there were a number of us willing to share some of our history in order to assure her that being pristine is not a requirement for membership.  And from that time, from that assurance, it has been a joy to see this young woman just devour the Faith and Tradition and throw herself into her preparations to be formally received into the Church with great fire and zeal for her personal conversion/sanctification.  It’s a glorious thing, something so significant, words really do fail.

So, in spite of certain very well known Catholics attempting to draw false dichotomies which say that very orthodox, traditional, doctrinally clear Catholics are too theoretical, too “Pelagian,” too triumphalist, too uncharitable, my experience has really been quite the opposite. I’m certain that there are souls in every parish – super liberal, moderate, ultra-traddy, whatever – that are hard-hearted, dogmatic, and uncharitable.  But my experience has been that the characterization of those who love the Truth enough to want it conveyed clearly and effectively for their own sake and the sake of the salvation of all other souls as self-righteous cold-hearted misanthropes is very, very much off the mark. I’ll also say that I have received warmer welcomes, more friendly exchanges, and in general just better hospitality at all the very conservative to traditional parishes I’ve ever assisted at, from Greenville to Corpus Christi to Lakewood to Edmond to wherever, than I have anywhere else.

And in reality, it is the orthodox presentation of the Faith, it is the beautiful, reverent Liturgy (yes, according to the rubrics, ALL of them!), it is very strong catechesis given with great clarity (and charity) that is the way to be truly charitable and Catholic.  Leaving souls mired in sin with the same tired, failed “new!” spoon fed modernist-indifferentist pablum is actually profoundly uncharitable if they are never motivated to repent and convert.  “Loving” them is not telling them they are in wonderful shape in their present mode of life.  While the world loves to be told how wonderful, wise, and “holy” it is, we are not give the Grace we receive to please the world.  We are given it to save our own souls first, and of all those around us that we possibly can. And there is nothing that needs “updating” regarding all that.

Begin Novena for the Holy Guardian Angels today! September 23, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I know you’re already doing your Novena for St. Michael presently, but one more won’t hurt!  Or, make that two more, because tomorrow starts the Novena for St. Therese of the Child Jesus!

O Holy Angel, whom God, by the effect of His goodness and His tender regard for my spiritual welfare, has charged with the care of my 273b30cc-53e4-4349-898b-80f2025c09aeconduct, and who assists me in all my wants and comforts me in all my afflictions, who supports me when I am discouraged and continually obtains for me new favours, I return thee profound thanks, and I earnestly beseech thee, O most amiable Protector, to continue thy charitable care and defence of me against the malignant attacks of all my enemies. Keep me away from all occasions of sin. Obtain for me the grace of listening attentively to thy holy inspirations and of faithfully putting them into practice. In particular, I implore thee to obtain for me the favour which I ask for by this novena.
[Here mention your intentions]
Protect me in all the temptations and trials of this life, but more especially at the hour of my death, and do not leave me until thou hast conducted me into the Divine Presence of my Creator in the Mansions of everlasting happiness. Amen.
O most faithful companion, appointed by God to be my Guardian, and who never leaves my side, how shall I thank you for your faithfulness GuardianAngel5004-1-1and love and for the benefits which you have obtained for me!
You watch over me when I sleep; you comfort me when I am sad; you avert the dangers that threaten me and warn me of those to come; you withdraw me from sin and inspire me to good; you exhort me to penance when I fall and reconcile me to God.
I beg you not to leave me. Comfort me in adversity, restrain me in prosperity, defend me in danger, and assist me in temptations, lest at any time I fall beneath them. Offer up in the sight of the Divine Majesty my prayers and petitions, and all my works of piety, and help me to persevere in grace until I come to everlasting life. Amen.
————End Quote————–
Pray this Novena as a family!
I find that children who especially inculcate a very strong relation with their holy guardian angels tend to do be very blessed throughout their life!  Your guardian angel loves you very much and watches out for you constantly, remember to ask them to intercede for you always!
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Final Novus Ordo Latin Mass tonight at St. Mark September 23, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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7pm, the final, last, Novus Ordo Latin Mass at St. Mark in Plano.  There will be a Te Deum sung afterwards.

Go out with a bang?  1200 people crammed into the church?  Give a demonstration of how much support for even Novus Ordo Latin Mass there really is in the northern part of the Diocese?  Show some thanks to the long-toiling schola?

It’s up to you.

Crucifixion_MAULBERTSCH, Franz Anton

Message sent…….. September 23, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, Basics, contraception, disconcerting, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, pr stunts, sadness, shocking, the return.
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……message received.  This is not fake:

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I don’t think we understand, yet, how much harder getting women to change their minds regarding a possible abortion, or getting unfaithful Catholics to stop contracepting, just became.

I know Pope Francis made a strong statement against abortion on Friday, which was duly ignored by all the mass media and which will never reach even 5% of the people who read his statements about “obession” over abortion and other matters of mortal sin. Yes, the media pick and choose, they twist, the connive, they misrepresent – that is their diabolical nature.  That is why, as I have said on this blog numerous times, Popes at least up to Pius XII were extremely careful in all their public statements, even though, back then, the media was not nearly so gone over to militant sexular paganism and hostile to the Church as it is now.  But popes historically understood the endemic hostility of the world towards the Church, especially as the dominant culture increasingly embraced as a new god enlightenment liberalism, and they carefully parsed all their public statements accordingly, to prevent or absolutely minimize their misinterpretation.

I think we have to realize that, for all his many gifts, and they appear to be prodigious, we now have as pope a man more friendly towards progressive idealogy than any at least since Paul VI, and quite possibly ever.  This is not a criticism, it is not an attack, it is a bald statement of fact.  I also think that as time goes on, many of those who heretofore have been bending over backwards to explain away Pope Francis’ statements as somehow innocuous or even ringing endorsements of orthodoxy (and, to be sure, he has made a number of such statements, mixed in with all the baffling, even scandalous ones), will eventually find themselves crossing de Nile river and taking a more realist view.  That is to say, my prognostication is that, virtually all orthodox/conservative Catholics will experience a moment of clarifying or transcendent apoplexy once their particular ox gets gored.

The great danger in the Faith that has developed since the apotheosis of ultramontanism in the late 19th century is that souls will swing wildly in belief and practice based on the vagaries of the Pope reigning at any particular moment.  For many, “orthodoxy” has devolved down into unquestioning acceptance of anything the current pope, and possibly recently reigning popes, have said or done, even when such may be radically different from the perennial practice of the Faith.  Historically, popes were certainly the Vicar of Christ and Supreme Head of the Church, but they were expected (and generally did) accord with the beliefs of the Faith as revealed through Scripture and Tradition.  If they did not, they were rightly challenged. That is why John XXII was severely chastened and even called a heretic by a Doctor of the Church, when he began engaging in dangerous, erroneous theological speculation.  That is also why the name of John was not then taken by a Pope for 624 years, and it was rather surprising, even scandalous to some, when John XXIII chose that name!  Not that I am saying that Pope Francis has publicly spoken error (I’m not saying he hasn’t either), I’m just trying to clarify how I understand, say, roughly 1500 years of the practice of the Faith.

This is not to say we “judge” the Pope.  It is also not to say that we can simply ignore him because we do not like what he says. In truth, it’s a very muddy, difficult situation, where each man will have to strive to remain loyal and obedient to both the Doctrine of the Faith and the reigning Pope. Thus far, all the disconcerting statements have been in the realm of the prudential, where Catholics can respectfully disagree with the Pope while always respecting and trying to understand his views.  Those who disagree or express concern will likely be told they are “bad Catholics” or calumniated in other ways, which is an interesting commentary on just how accepted all this “primacy of the personal conscience” stuff really is. I don’t see many people giving the SSPX or sede vacantists, for instance, the benefit of the doubt for adhering to their personal conscience.  I pray situations will not develop where Catholics will have to make a terrible choice between their convinced belief in the orthodox practice of the Faith, and some papal declaration in opposition to that, or calling that into question.

In sum, having a Pope who makes numerous extemporaneous statements without necessarily always taking into account how they will be received by a viciously hostile world and 1 billion plus nominally faithful Catholics is bound to be a painful experience for many of the faithful.  This practice of a very open, public papacy is really a great novelty, something unseen until the late 1960s.  The only real option for us is to, first and foremost, pray and offer mortifications for the Pope and his constant cooperation with Grace and the Will of God, and then, to continue to present the perennial practice of the Faith as it has been handed down to us as faithfully as possible.  At least, that’s why MY personal conscience tells me, perhaps some will inform me of how badly formed my conscience really is.